12 Last Minute SAT / ACT Tips

This is the real deal. Keep these tips in mind while you’re taking the ACT to help you out during the exam.

Tip 6: Keep Calm and Test On

Take it one question at a time, and don’t get discouraged when you can’t figure out an answer. Just skip the question and move forward. Getting worked up will only take away from your focus and hurt your scores. Remember that panic/anxiety is counterproductive. At Damian SAT ACT Prep we train our students on techniques that keep the anxiety under control. It is counterproductive at least, and damaging for sure the outcome of the test to panic. Even if you have ruined a full section, do not forget, this test can be superscored by some colleges so try to do your best on the remaining of the test. Any good score on a section will be used at some point in time in your application process.

Tip 7: Skip Difficult Questions

During the progression of the questions you may encounter questions you know would take up a long time to solve, or questions you have never seen before. Mark the ones you know will take up a long time with a circle and cross out the ones you do not know. Continue to work in the section and try to finish the section. You can now go back and address first the circled questions then the ones you have crossed out. There’s a lot of time pressure on the ACT. If you find you’ve spent more than a minute on a question in the Math, Reading, or Science section, move on and come back to it later. In the English section, don’t spend more than 30 seconds trying to figure out any one question before you move on. Take into account the fact that you may also buy a specialized watch sold by several companies and designed specifically for SAT or ACT usage. Get the watch ahead of time and do some practice tests using it. Become familiar with the functions and see for yourself if it helps you at all. At Damian SAT ACT we recommend students exploring the benefits of the test watch.

Don’t risk running out of time before you get to every question – you could miss easier points down the road. In numerous cases the few last questions in the section may require knowing just a formula or relating to a short line of reading. Make sure you finish the section before you go back and check the skipped questions.

Tip 8: Check Your Answers

If you have time at the end of a section, don’t waste it. Go back and check over your answers to make sure you’re not missing any easily fixable mistakes that could happen if you rush through questions.

Also make sure all the bubbles on your answer sheet are filled in. Remember, there’s no penalty for incorrect answers on the SAT ACT, so you have nothing to lose by guessing. In the majority of the questions, you can anyways eliminate 2 or 3 answer choices which leaves you with a 50% chance of getting the right answer.

Tip 9: Use wisely the breaks

You get two breaks on the ACT assuming you’re taking it with the writing section. The first is between Math and Reading, and the second is between Science and the essay.

Take advantage of the breaks to clear your mind, use the bathroom, or eat a snack. You’ll feel better prepared for the rest of the test.


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